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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Treachery, Faith and the Great River

I'm not a god, I'm a security officer.

When a Dominion ally defects to the care of Odo, leaving him nonplused, a massive chase ensues. Meanwhile, O'Brien's on a chase of his own when a gravitational stabilizer runs amok on the Defiant.

I found this to be one of the better episodes of season seven, and its subplot is one of the rare Ferengi storylines of DS9 that were more engaging than ridiculous, much credit due to Aron Eisenberg. I love how Eisenberg has developed Nog into a character whose parents were believably Quark and Rom – he has all of Rom's heart and all of Quark's craftiness in one, on top of their tendency for Getting Into Situations. Like Rom, Nog is willing to go to great lengths to help others; like Quark, he has a twisty brain which creates more trouble than it solves. In this case, he's helping Miles O'Brien do the impossible after seeing him get chewed out, repairing the Defiant in a time frame imposed by Sisko that would make even Scotty sweat. From the minute I saw Nog suggest Miles O'Brien learn to build relationships with people in order to be better at getting what he needed, I knew a Situation was brewing and gleefully anticipated every subsequent development of Star Trek: Barter Kings, up to and including Martok's bloodwine. And I loved how Nog gleeflully skipped off to make that situation happen.

What I didn't expect was how well Nog seemed able to connect with so many people, how he learned information about them all, and how he took the Rules of Acquisition and the Great Material Continuum and made me think a little differently about what Ferengi could be. He even wrapped up Martok's situation with a fair amount of panache. He's come a long way from the boy who hung out with Jake at the cargo bay. The big question for us all: did Nog know the whole time what he was putting Miles through? I like to think so.

I knew that when Odo got that call from Gul Russol it was going to turn out to be some sort of trap. I didn't expect it to be a defection–and I didn't expect it to turn out to be a defection from a clone who turned out to be a Vorta finding themselves? Of course, the Cardassians are willing to give chase, and are able to convince Weyoun 7 that they can ignore the prohibition on hurting Odo given the potential impact Weyoun 6's defection might have on the war. The food scene had me seeing them as victims instead of mildly-sinister antagonists, but more importantly it broke open Odo's shell of despair about his own people and their tendencies towards war and destruction instead of generosity and kindness. I wonder how many people on Deep Space Nine have expressed concern about Odo's feelings about his own people? Weyoun 6's continual faith in Odo, and how Odo managed to respond as his 'god', only emphasized that distinction, and Odo's own divided nature.

It's an impact possibly greater than even the Cardassians know. Weyoun knows a terrible secret: the Founders are ill. He's so convinced by this information that he now believes Odo is the only Founder likely to survive. He even builds up the idea of a new order, led by Odo (shades of Star Wars). Odo, and I, are skeptical of his motives. When Odo can't find a way to hide from their pursuers, Weyoun goes on record as self-destructing, in order to safeguard Odo's escape - proving his conviction, proving everything, and setting Odo free to make a decision of his own about how and whether to help the Great Link. Weyoun 6 seems to see Odo's compassion and caring as reason to put all his bets behind Odo.

It's Kira, understandably, who provides the support Odo needs. He needs to see that he is not his people, although he is of his people. Either way, poor Odo gets the short end of the stick, and he knows it.

Logged and Noted

I loved the Odo-massage; it was a great example of how DS9 sparingly but effectively showed shapeshifter abilities, and the special effects look fairly impressive for the time.

The Sisko Desk Substitute sequence had me laughing out loud.

Kava nuts and rippleberries are the genetically programmed foods of the Vorta, but in this episode we learn they can enjoy other tastes.

Nog: The Great Material Continuum... it's the force that binds the universe together.
O'Brien: I must have missed that class in Engineering School.
Nog: On Ferenginar, we learn about the Continuum while we still have our first set of ears.
O'Brien: This is no time for Ferengi fairy tales.
Nog: The Continuum is real. You see, there are millions upon millions of worlds in the universe, each one filled with too much of one thing and not enough of another. And the Great Continuum flows through them all like a mighty river, from have to want and back again. And if we navigate the Continuum with skill and grace, our ship will be filled with everything our hearts desire.


A moving Odo episode, finally giving his story its next step, and a great, fun Nog episode. Four out of five crates of really good Bloodwine.


  1. I adore this episode! And I must point out that the craft used in this episode is the Rio Grande, which, of course, means Great River. Thanks so much for this review.

    1. Excellent observation, never caught that!


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